Columbia Home
Sonia Kovalevsky Day

## Activities:

• MATH IN THE CITY… WITH TAXIS AND PIZZA? led by Baldwin Mei & Yuxi Chen. It’s commonly said that math is all around us, but what does that look like in practice? As it turns out, NYC is full of opportunities to explore this question! Taxis and pizza, longstanding staples of the city, are rich with mathematics ranging from driving around grid-like streets to the various ways of holding a pizza. Join us as we explore these two everyday phenomena and their connections with math!
• HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? THE AMAZING WORLD OF PROBABILITY, led by Evan Sorensen & Hindy Drillick. We will play a unique game with unusual dice. If dice A beats dice B and dice B beats dice C, does that mean dice A beats dice C? In this activity, we will explore the seemingly contradictory and fascinating  world of probability.
• FANTASTIC MAPS AND HOW TO COLOR THEM, led by Marco Castronovo and Karina Dovgodko. Mathematics is somewhere between science and art. We will illustrate this point by coloring maps of imaginary lands, whose regions can have all sort of shapes. How many colors do you need to fill the regions of a map, so that neighboring ones get different colors?
• CAN YOU TELL A DONUT AND A CHEESECAKE APART? AN INTRODUCTION TO TOPOLOGY, led by Francesco Lin & Zoe Himwich. In topology one studies how shapes can be stretched, twisted, crumpled, and bent. For example, the shapes of a cheesecake and a scoop of ice cream can be deformed one into the other, so they are the same to a topologist. How can then tell any two objects apart? We’ll explore these ideas, and see that the shapes of a cookie and a donut are not the same!
• FROM CIRCLES AND FRACTALS TO NUMBERS AND FRACTIONS, led by Gyujin Oh & Vivian (Qiyao) Yu. In ancient Greek times, mathematicians made discoveries by drawing geometric shapes. A curious Greek drew a big circle, then drew circles inside the circle, and then drew more circles, … After drawing a cool picture, the mathematician saw a pattern, and discovered a relation between the circle picture and the fractions! We will learn how to draw interesting self-similar pictures with circles and lines (called “fractals”), and then learn about the role of the fractions behind the pictures.

Every student can choose between 4 modules which are combinations of the above activities, plus some time for games!

## Modules:

• MODULE A (room 307): Games! (room 507) / From circles and fractals to numbers and fractions / Math in the city… with taxis and pizza? / How is that possible? The amazing world of probability
• MODULE B (room 407): From circles and fractals to numbers and fractions/ Fantastic maps and how to color them / How is that possible? The amazing world of probability/ Games! (room 507)
• MODULE C (room 528): Fantastic maps and how to color them / Games! (room 507) / Can you tell a donut and a cheesecake apart? / Math in the city… with taxis and pizza?
• MODULE D (room 520): How is that possible? The amazing world of probability / Math in the city… with taxis and pizza? / Games! (room 507) / Can you tell a donut and a cheesecake apart?

## Schedule:

9:00 – 9:30 am: Organizational meeting and selection of the modules in the lounge on the 5th floor of the Math Department

9:30 – 10:00 am: Activity 1

10.05 – 10:35 am: Activity 2

10:55 – 11:25 am: Activity 3

11:30am – 12:00 pm: Activity 4

12:00 – 1:00 pm: Lunch in the lounge on the 5th floor.